Peace on Earth

Congratulations Speaker Kevin McCarthy: A historic effort to become Speaker with historic challenges ahead. A slim Republican majority now has the responsibility to reign in the Biden progressive policies being pushed by radical Democrats.

We look forward to working with Congress to restore fiscal responsibility and transparency to the process, guarantee Social Security and Medicare to our seniors, and help restore America’s greatness.

Our best days are yet ahead, but not without challenges which will require all of us to engage and work together.

Peace on Earth – Hey Russia: If only Putin and his Russian thugs would stop attacking and threatening their neighbors, all would be peaceful. The ONLY threat in that part of the world, what most would refer to as civilized, is Russia and its dictators.

The solution is simple…but NOT easy. Russia needs to stop interfering in its neighbor’s backyard and focus on rebuilding the great country and culture the world has known as Russia. The world is now free to choose, democracy, liberty and freedom continues to expand around the world. Forced annexation, genocide, war crimes, and ego-based attacks are condemned across the world.

Think about it…Russian Foreign Minister says most Ukrainian politicians are “outright Russophobes.” This comes after Russia invades Ukraine, commits genocide…then accuses the Ukrainian authorities of “Russophobia!”

All Russia has to do is abandon its imperial ambitions (which virtually every other country in the world has done) and start abiding by international norms and laws.

Russia and its people have a great future once it accepts it, demands it, and rejects the politics of hate, force, colonialism/imperialism and control…and becomes a member of the civilized world again.

God vs Atheism – My confession: The following was written by Steven Levy and recited by him on CBS Sunday Morning Commentary.

I don’t like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don’t think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period. I have no idea where the concept came from, that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can’t find it in the Constitution, and I don’t like it being shoved down my throat…

Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we should worship celebrities and we aren’t allowed to worship God as we understand Him? I guess that’s a sign that I’m getting old, too. But there are a lot of us who are wondering where these celebrities came from and where the America we knew went to.

In light of the many jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this is a little different: This is not intended to be a joke; it’s not funny, it’s intended to get you thinking.

 In light of recent events… terrorists attack, school shootings, etc. I think it started when Madeleine Murray O’Hare (she was murdered, and her body was found a few years ago) complained she didn’t want prayer in our schools, and we said OK. Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school… The Bible says thou shalt not kill; thou shalt not steal and love your neighbor as yourself. And we said OK.

Then Dr. Steven Benjamin Spock said we shouldn’t spank our children when they misbehave, because their little personalities would be warped, and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr. Spock’s son committed suicide). We said an expert should know what he’s talking about.. And we said okay.

Now we’re asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don’t know right from wrong, and why it doesn’t bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves.

Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out. I think it has a great deal to do with ‘WE REAP WHAT WE SOW.’

Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world’s going to hell. Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says. Funny how you can send ‘jokes’ through e-mail and they spread like wildfire, but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing. Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace.

Funny how when you forward this message, you will not send it to many on your address list because you’re not sure what they believe, or what they will think of you for sending it.

Funny how we can be more worried about what other people think of us than what God thinks of us.

Pass it on if you think it has merit.

If not, then just discard it… no one will know you did. But, if you discard this thought process, please don’t sit back and complain about what bad shape the world is in.

I decided to send it on.

Read more below and follow me on Twitter & GETTR – @sanuzis  

Saul Anuzis

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Kevin McCarthy secures Speakership after historic floor battle

He got the gavel.

Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) became the 55th Speaker of the House in the midnight hour on Saturday, ending a historic four-day, 15-ballot stalemate caused by a group of 20 hard-line conservative members — and fulfilling the California Republican’s longtime goal.

The final vote, on the 15th ballot, was 216 for McCarthy, 212 for House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) and six present votes. With the present votes, he needed 215 votes to win.

McCarthy’s securing of the Speakership came after a dramatic scene on the House floor on the 14th ballot, with Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) casting the deciding vote that put McCarthy just one vote shy of the gavel.

Members huddled around Gaetz in intense discussion after the vote. At one point, Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) went up to the group in anger, and Rep. Richard Hudson (R-N.C.) physically pulled Rogers back.

Republicans were about to adjourn until Monday — until Gaetz approached McCarthy, who asked for one more vote. On that ballot, all remaining holdouts flipped to vote present so he would win.

It is a major victory for McCarthy. There were points when many outside observers — and even privately some of his House GOP supporters — did not think he was going to be able to pull it off.

He proved them wrong.

Link to Full Article…

Speaker McCarthy has arrived. Now what?

The bitter battle to confirm Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) as House Speaker is finally over and the groundwork has been laid for the 118th Congress.

But the multiday, historically long process laid bare the divisions and potential issues McCarthy and House Republicans face as they seek to pass legislation, launch investigations and get reelected in two years.

So what lies ahead for McCarthy, the GOP and Democrats?

Here are six things to watch as Speaker McCarthy takes his seat:

How much did the Speaker battle weaken McCarthy?

The House Freedom Caucus has power for the first time since Democrats won the House in 2018, and the far-right group wasted no time in asserting itself, providing a glimpse at the issues McCarthy will confront as he takes over as the weakest Speaker in recent memory.

Link to Full Article…

Social Security update: Direct monthly payment worth up to $4,194 to arrive in four days

The first Social Security retirement payments of the year worth up to $4,194 will be paid to recipients starting Wednesday.

The Social Security Administration’s payments are scheduled to go out on Jan. 11 and will be sent to recipients born between the 1st and 10th of a month. The retirement benefits the SSA pays to recipients every month always begin on the second Wednesday of the month, according to the administration’s calendar.

The payments from the SSA are paid to recipients in waves of three, and some recipients get paid later in the month.

People whose birthdays fall between the 11th and 20th of a month will receive the payment on Jan. 18, and recipients whose birthdays fall between the 21st and 31st of a month will be paid last on Jan. 25.

The exact amount of money recipients will receive from these checks will vary based on several factors, including when a recipient chooses to retire and start receiving Social Security benefits.

A person must have retired when they were 70 to receive the highest payment of $4,194. Meanwhile, recipients who retired at 67 receive a maximum check of $3,345, and anyone who retired at 62 only gets up to $2,364 per month, according to the SSA.

Link to Full Article…

Our Parasitic Generation

Yes, there is a lot of ruin in great nations. But even America is by now running low on it.

“Be assured young friend, that there is a great deal of ruin in a nation.”

— Adam Smith

Are we sure that there is all that much ruin left in the United States?

We are $31 trillion in collective debt. The new normal is $1.5 trillion budget deficits. The military is politicized and short of recruits. We trade lethal terrorists for woke celebrity athletes as if to confirm our enemies’ cynical stereotypes.

Our FBI is corrupt and discredited, collaborating with Silicon Valley contractors to suppress free speech and warp elections. We practice segregation and racial discrimination and claim we do not because the right and good people support it and, anyway, the victims deserve it. The country has seen defeat before but never abject, deliberate humiliation as in Kabul, when we fled and abandoned to the terrorist Taliban a $1 billion embassy, a huge, remodeled air base, thousands of friends, and tens of billions of dollars in military hardware—and hard-earned deterrence.

We are witnessing the breakdown of basic norms essential for civilized life, from affordable food and fuel to available key antibiotics and baby formula. Old Cairo seems safer than an after-hours subway ride or stroll at dusk in many major American cities. Medieval London’s roadways were likely cleaner than Market Street in San Francisco. Speech was freer in 1920s America than it is now.

The Breakdown of Basic Society

Our California always is a preamble to America’s future. Our present is likely your tomorrow.

Each summer here we impotently expect forest conflagrations. Millions of acres of flames pour more millions of tons of smoke and carbon and soot in the skies. Tens of millions of hated combustion engines cannot begin to match the natural blankets of aerial dirt…

…Instead, there is only chaos—and it is by design…

… But whatever the cause, a once famously lawful America has become a veritable land of thieves. The criminal is all but exempt. And the middle class and poor suffer as a result from poor services, higher prices, reduced hours, and fewer stores.

We know the solution is to deter crime by assured punishment for the guilty. But the majority of Americans either cannot or will not demand a return to sanity for fear of some sort of undefined pushback from their elites. Pick your charge: “racism,” “privilege,” “bias,” “discrimination.” Any will do.

We have seen lots of cultural revolutions in this country, but never one that was so singularly focused on razing the foundations of America—until now. Yes, there is a lot of ruin in great nations. But even America is by now running low on it.

Link to Full Article…

The Coup We Never Knew

Did someone or something seize control of the United States?

What happened to the U.S. border? Where did it go? Who erased it? Why and how did 5 million people enter our country illegally? Did Congress secretly repeal our immigration laws? Did Joe Biden issue an executive order allowing foreign nationals to walk across the border and reside in the United States as they pleased?

Since when did money not have to be paid back? Who insisted that the more dollars the federal government printed, the more prosperity would follow? When did America embrace zero interest? Why do we believe $30 trillion in debt is no big deal?

When did clean-burning, cheap, and abundant natural gas become the equivalent to dirty coal? How did prized natural gas that had granted America’s wishes of energy self-sufficiency, reduced pollution, and inexpensive electricity become almost overnight a pariah fuel whose extraction was a war against nature? Which lawmakers, which laws, which votes of the people declared natural gas development and pipelines near criminal?

Was it not against federal law to swarm the homes of Supreme Court justices, to picket and to intimidate their households in efforts to affect their rulings? How then with impunity did bullies surround the homes of Justices Brett Kavanaugh, Samuel Alito, Amy Coney Barrett, Neil Gorsuch, John Roberts, and Clarence Thomas—furious over a court decision on abortion? How could these mobs so easily throng our justices’ homes, with placards declaring “Off with their d—s”?

Since when did Americans create a government Ministry of Truth? And on whose orders did the FBI contract private news organizations to censor stories it did not like and writers whom it feared?

Link to Full Article…

The Secret to Ron DeSantis’s Success? Ignore Donald Trump—and Attack Business Instead

Can the Florida governor’s fight with corporate America win back the White House for Republicans?

Two days before the midterm elections, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis sauntered onstage at a boisterous rally in an airplane hangar in Sarasota and, as Donald Trump likes to do, began tossing baseball caps to the crowd. The similarities with the 45th president didn’t end there. DeSantis mimicked Trump’s braggadocio, touting his own 2018 victory as “probably the most consequential governor’s election in the history of the state of Florida.” He even channeled Trump’s predilection for claiming that unnamed supporters routinely approach him weeping with gratitude for the unswerving strength of his leadership in the face of elite liberal hostility. As usual, it involved his skeptical response to the Covid-19 pandemic. “Sometimes,” DeSantis told the crowd, “people will just start crying, saying, ‘My business would just have gone under if you had not stood up for me.’ ”

Trump famously reoriented Republican politics away from Reaganesque optimism and toward a fed-up populist aggrievance that had far more power than anyone realized until his run for president. DeSantis may be his best student. His public persona is built on projecting truculent contempt toward the people the MAGA masses despise most, including former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Dr. Anthony Fauci. And like Trump, he has a gift for sensing what people are primed to get mad about. In Sarasota and other stops along his Don’t Tread on Florida Tour the weekend before the midterms, he rattled off a lengthy list of oppressors: liberal politicians who refuse to enforce immigration laws, school boards “teaching kids to hate our country,” government bureaucrats demanding mask and vaccine mandates and job-killing shutdowns, and “woke” ideologues instituting radical ideas about gender and sexuality. DeSantis said he was striking back against the last group when he signed a controversial law in March restricting public school teachers from discussing gender identity and sexual orientation in the classroom. Critics dubbed it the “Don’t Say Gay” law.

Link to Full Article…

Ukraine war: Putin should face trial this year, says top lawyer

Russian President Vladimir Putin should go on trial in Ukraine this year for war crimes committed there, says the man who led the prosecution of former Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic.

Sir Geoffrey Nice told the BBC Mr Putin was a “guilty man” for attacks on civilian targets during the war.

The British barrister expressed his surprise that prosecutors and politicians were not “spelling this out much more freely and openly”.

Russia denies committing war crimes.

But, speaking to Radio 4’s Broadcasting House programme, Sir Geoffrey described Moscow’s actions during the invasion as “crimes against humanity” – as civilian targets were being attacked.

Crimes against humanity are considered to be among the most serious offences under the so-called “rules” of war.

These laws ban attacks on civilians – or infrastructure vital to their survival – and are set out in international treaties such as the Geneva Conventions.

For example, Russia’s repeat attacks on the Ukrainian energy grid over the winter have been described as war crimes because of the harm done to civilians. Russia insists it is hitting military targets only.

Moscow’s troops have been accused by the international community of thousands of abuses since their full-scale invasion of the neighbouring country last February.

The prosecutor-general in Kyiv says more than 62,000 war crimes have so far been recorded, including the deaths of more than 450 children. The BBC has not been able to verify these figures.

Link to Full Article…

Biden admin quietly admits canceling Keystone XL Pipeline cost thousands of jobs, billions of dollars

President Biden’s decision to revoke pipeline’s permits hurt ‘working families,’ Montana senator says.

The Biden administration published a congressionally mandated report highlighting the positive economic benefits the Keystone XL Pipeline would have had if President Biden didn’t revoke its federal permits.

The report, which the Department of Energy (DOE) completed in late December without any public announcement, says the Keystone XL project would have created between 16,149 and 59,000 jobs and would have had a positive economic impact of between $3.4-9.6 billion, citing various studies. A previous report from the federal government published in 2014 determined 3,900 direct jobs and 21,050 total jobs would be created during construction which was expected to take two years.

But immediately after taking office in January 2021, Biden canceled the pipeline’s permits, effectively shutting the project down.

“The Biden administration finally owned up to what we have known all along — killing the Keystone XL Pipeline cost good-paying jobs, hurt Montana’s economy and was the first step in the Biden administration’s war on oil and gas production in the United States,” Sen. Steve Daines. R-Mont., said Thursday in a statement. “Unfortunately, the administration continues to pursue energy production anywhere but the United States.”

Link to Full Article…